Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Saint Mattie vs The Evil Busman

We’ve lived here in San Mateo for 15 years. La ciudad de Saint Matthew. All this talk about fast-tracking pope John Paul into saintly status got me wondering - who was Saint Matthew anyway? I mean, I live in ‘his town;’ shouldn’t I know something about him?

The first mention of Matthaios, in the bible (or probably anywhere), is in Matthew 9:9: And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

He was… a tax collector. I live in a city named for the biblical forefather of the IRS. Of course, this makes him the patron saint of accountants, bankers, bookkeepers, customs officers, financial officers, guards, money managers, security forces, security guards, stock brokers, tax collectors.


I went to a catholic elementary school. Everyday, we would be notified of the patron saint responsible for that day. Just desserts would have April 15 as St. Matthew’s day; but that’s far to Americano-centric. Matt gets Sept 21. April 15 is all about Caesar de Bus.

Caesar started out as a party animal. An unsuccessful French playwright, he decided to join the army. His military career was notable for his being witness to the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France, August 24, 1572. Depending on which history you believe, 2000 to 100,000 unarmed Huguenots were murdered that week, because they were Middle Ages evil doers - protestants.

"An Eyewitness Account of the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre"
by François Dubois, @ the Musée Cantonal Des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne Switzerland

Blessed Caesar fell sick (maybe he drank some water from that corpse-filled Seine), became depressed and ultimately decided to become a priest. He was given sainthood (in 1976) because he came up with the idea of ‘family catechism.’ Teach thy children well - and early. Basically, I guess you could say he came up with the idea of catholic elementary schools (some protestants think he even lifted that from their earlier idea for
Presbyterian Catechumens).

But back to Matty.

After he became a follower of Jesus, they don’t seem to know much more about him. He may have preached Jesus’ gospel to the Hebrews. He may have gone off on some missionary work to the south of the Caspian Sea, Ethiopia, Persia, Macedonia, and/or Syria. Many theolgian scholars seem to believe he really didn't write "his" famous New Testament gospel. So, he's basically just a tax guy, who got religion.

I'd rather pray to him (if I thought it would do any good), on April 15, than Da Bus.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home